Old Mo took the compass and set the orientation according to the angles calculated by Xiao Lou.
In order to reach the position of the alpha star as quickly as possible, Yu Hanjiang used the light footwork card and carried Xiao Lou. Old Mo took Liu Qiao and Lu Jiuchuan rode on the vermilion bird while carrying Tang Ci in his pocket. The group of people swiftly headed north for 30 metres and then continued west. On the way, they encountered many forked roads. However, they had the compass for positioning. They just needed to ensure the direction was accurate and they couldn’t go wrong.
On the other side, Ye Qi and Shao Qingge both had teleportation cards. Long Sen and Qu Wanyue could use the long jump card to jump 8 meters at a time. Chu Huaying’s movement speed was very fast and Gui Yuanzhang could use his brush to assist in flying. Everyone followed the directions and distances mentioned by Xiao Lou.
Within three minutes, the six people came to a stone room. Xiao Lou’s group also just came from the other direction.
Ye Qi was excited. “It seems that Professor Xiao’s speculation is correct. This should be the position of the delta Ursae Majoris?!”
Xiao Lou nodded. “Go and take a look.”
The stone door was closed and couldn’t be pushed open. There was a complicated ‘checkerboard’ on the door that was covered with white stones of the same size. The stone in the middle was fixed and the arrangement of the surrounding stones was very messy.
Lu Jiuchuan rubbed his chin and looked at the checkerboard. “Is it the endgame in Go?”
Yu Hanjiang immediately denied it. “No. Go has black and white stones. This board only has white stones. How can one play Go with stones of the same color?”
Lu Jiuchuan wasn’t embarrassed about guessing wrong and just smiled. “What is it? Do these stones represent stars?”’
Gui Yuanzhang took a closer look at the stone door and nodded to confirm Lu Jiuchuan’s speculation. “It should be a star map mechanism.”
Xiao Lou observed for a moment. “It is a star map mechanism and all the white stones represent a star. We need to reset the star map to open the door. The fixed white stone in the middle…”
Gui Yuanzhang wondered, “Is it the missing delta Ursae Majoris?”
Xiao Lou thought about it. “It is in the middle of the upper part. It might be the North Star.”
He gently touched the stone in the middle and found that it couldn’t move. In ancient times, the North Star was a very important reference for distinguishing position. At night, if they could find the Northern Star in the sky then that place was north. The opposite was south, left was west and right was east. In this way, they could infer their specific orientation and not get lost.
The star map was related to the North Star and the theme of the tomb was the ‘Qixing Gongyue’. This showed that they needed to restore the Big Dipper on the star map.
The moment Xiao Lou touched the North Star, the star map in front of him suddenly changed. Two white stones moved on the checkerboard to the lower right corner of the chessboard, facing the North Star.
Xiao Lou told the group, “This is a reminder item that will help us locate the alpha Ursae Majoris and the beta Ursae Majoris.”
After all, many challengers didn’t draw maps while walking through the labyrinth like Xiao Lou’s group. There was also a possibility that they couldn’t analyze that the sarcophagi in the lower level was in the symbol of the Big Dipper. Therefore, the star map mechanism of the stone door would give some hints to the challengers.
It was easy to infer that this was the North Star. Then based on the connection below, they could figure out that it was the Big Dipper. No matter how the Big Dipper changed, the scoop portion of the skimming spoon would definitely face the North Star. Since the alpha and beta Ursae Majoris were already positioned, it wasn’t difficult for Xiao Lou to restore the other stars. At an obtuse angle to the connection between the alpha and beta stars was the gamma star. Next to it was the delta star…
Xiao Lou reached out his slender fingers, picked up the stones on the checkerboard according to the pattern in his memory and quickly pieced together a star map of the Big Dipper. The moment the star map was completed, the checkerboard lit up with a soft light. The mechanism of the stone door was unlocked and there was the loud rumbling sound of the stone door rising.
Everyone exchanged looks and Tang Ci cautiously had the mechanical ants enter the room first to see if there were any pressure mechanisms inside. The ants moved around and confirmed it was safe. Then Yu Hanjiang and Lu Jiuchuan took the lead in entering. The other team members followed.
The stone room was around 100 square meters and was very spacious. The walls of the room were lit up by a whole ring of the Eternal Flame lamps and there was a sarcophagus in the middle on a platform. The sarcophagus was one size larger than that of the coffins found in the lower floor and there were many strange charms carved on the coffin.
Xiao Lou looked at the charms closely. They seemed to be consistent with those found on the coffins in the lower floor.
Just then, the entire stone room shook violently and the group stood unsteadily. Yu Hanjiang hurriedly supported Xiao Lou and exclaimed, “It seems that the labyrinth is going to collapse! We must hurry!”
The lights of the lamps kept flickering and there was some lime on the ceiling that was falling like snow. This showed that the explosion had affected the upper part of the tomb and it was going to collapse.
Xiao Lou realized the seriousness of the situation and hurriedly said, “Everyone, look at the surrounding walls separately. Hanjiang, see if you can open the sarcophagus!”
Yu Hanjiang nodded and flew to the front of the sarcophagus. He lifted the dagger in his hand and slashed it horizontally. The entire lid of the coffin was instantly cut by him.
Xiao Lou stepped forward and looked inside the coffin. There was a skeleton inside. Around the bones were gold and silver jewelry, jade jewelry and other burial items. Every piece looked valuable. Shao Qingge couldn’t help wondering, “Can I take them out to sell?”
Xiao Lou said, “Don’t act for the time being.”
He pulled the treasures aside with his hands and revealed the complete set of bones inside the sarcophagus.
Based on the shape of the pelvis and the bone quality, it should be an elderly man. The edges of the vertebrae showed obvious degenerative changes and the preliminary estimate was that he was over 50 years old.
The most important thing was that his bones consisted only of the body—the skull was missing. Where was the head?
The team members saw this and exchanged looks. Ye Qi couldn’t help asking, “The corpse doesn’t have a head?”
Xiao Lou stared at the bones thoughtfully while Yu Hanjiang said, “The World Weekly secret room this time is called ‘Headless General’s Tomb’. Can the corpse without a head be the owner of the ancient tomb?”
The moment he spoke, the sarcophagus suddenly moved to the side, revealing stairs that led downwards.
Ye Qi was extremely happy. “This is the exit of the labyrinth right?”
The group wanted to go down to take a look when Xiao Lou abruptly called out to them, “Don’t go down. Something is wrong.”
He stared at the headless skeleton in the coffin with doubts. “The ancients were most concerned about leaving their entire body after death. His tomb was made so luxuriously. Not only are there the six realms of reincarnation mechanisms but there are also coffins in the shape of the seven stars on the lower level. Obviously, he wants to rise to immortality and go to eternal bliss after death. How can he let his head be separated?”
Ye Qi quickly retracted his feet. “It makes sense. A corpse without a whole body should be the most taboo thing in ancient times.”
Gui Yuanzhang also nodded. “It really doesn’t make sense. This corpse has no head. Perhaps he offended someone in his lifetime and was beheaded by his enemy during burial?”
Ye Qi was confused. “Beheaded during the burial? If there was really a deep hatred then how could just the head be cut off? Surely the corpse would be broken and fed directly to dogs. How can he still lie comfortably in the grave?”
Indeed, if the hatred was so deep then how could the enemy just cut off the head before burying the person in the tomb? It was as Ye Qi said. A real enemy would definitely throw the corpse into the wilderness so it was chewed on by wild dogs.
Gui Yuanzhang opened his mouth. “There is another possibility. This is actually a deceptive coffin.”
Xiao Lou immediately reacted when he heard Senior Gui’s words. “Yes, the person in the coffin isn’t the owner of the tomb! He put the sarcophagus here and placed a headless corpse inside it to blind the eyes and confuse the tomb robbers!”
A diversionary tactic was a common method used in ancient tombs. In order to prevent future generations from robbing the tomb, they usually placed some fake coffins and corpses to confuse the tomb robbers. Meanwhile, the real tomb owner was concealed in a more hidden place.
This time, the World Weekly was called ‘Headless General’s Tomb’. After many twists and turns, everyone finally found the central tomb. There was a large number of gold and silver treasures and a headless corpse. Many people would subconsciously think they had found the owner of the tomb and the exit of the labyrinth. If they weren’t cautious enough, they would probably go down the stairs…
Tang Ci released his mechanical ants. “I will investigate first.”
The moment the mechanical ants descended the stairs, a sound filled their ears. Xiao Lou had placed a drone on the mechanical ants so everyone soon saw a shocking scene. After going down, it was actually a room filled with a rain of arrows!
The moment the challengers’ feet stepped on the slabs of the room, the mechanism would be activated and the surrounding walls would shoot out a dense number of poisonous arrows. This was unavoidable if they were slightly careless and they could even be turned into a hedgehog…
Ye Qi was frightened by the sight. “The Diamonds loli girl is too much. She actually played such a trick at the end!”
Lu Jiuchuan whispered, “I have long said she was abnormal.”
Fortunately, Xiao Lou and Senior Gui thought calmly. Just now, they had been worried that the labyrinth was collapsing and wanted to run down the stairs in a panic… if their reaction had been even a bit slower, they would’ve been shot dead by the arrows in the labyrinth.
Yu Hanjiang frowned. “If this is fake then where is the real tomb owner?”
Xiao Lou inquired, “Did you find anything on the surrounding walls?”
Chu Huaying answered, “All the walls have been checked. There are no compartments or mechanisms.”
Xiao Lou raised his head to look at the top of the coffin. There were no mechanisms on the surrounding walls and below this room was a room full of arrows to deliberately trick people. The most likely thing was that there was another mechanism above and it was where the real tomb owner was buried.
Xiao Lou looked closely at the roof. The roof looked like an astrolabe and contained many stone-like decorations on the surface. Among them was the largest stone that could be used as the North Star. Looking in the direction of the star map on the stone door just now, he found the stones arranged in the Big Dipper. The colors of these seven stones were obviously brighter than the surrounding ones.
There were many vacancies around the Big Dipper like grooves. Some grooves… the shape looked familiar? Among them were a round one and a crescent-shaped one…
Xiao Lou thought of the ornaments representing different tribes found in the coffins. There was a flash of inspiration in his mind and he asked, “Senior Gui, did you bring all the items found in the coffins of those buried alive?”
Gui Yuanzhang held out his hand and handed the bracelet and pendant with the totem patterns on them to Xiao Lou.
Xiao Lou took out his own wooden comb and jade pendant from his pocket. He glanced at Yu Hanjiang and pointed to the grooves next to the star map on the roof. “Hanjiang, try putting these things in the grooves on the roof.”
Yu Hanjiang flew up lightly using the light footwork card and placed the four ‘tokens’ in the grooves. He found the grooves for the bracelet, the semi-circular wooden comb, the round jade pendant and the wolf tooth-shaped pendant. The four items were placed into the four grooves and fit perfectly!
Xiao Lou’s lips raised in a smile. “The items found in the coffins of those buried alive are the keys to open the final tomb.”
The moment all the items were placed, the group heard a rumbling sound. The slate tiles above their heads suddenly split open to both sides, revealing a square skylight large enough for one person to pass through.
Old Mo suddenly realized. “There is another floor above. It seems that this tomb is actually a three-floor structure?”
In order to avoid being pitted again, Tang Ci released a drone to investigate. Soon, the drone returned to his hands. The camera recorded the approximate scene in the stone room and Tang Ci said, “There is a sarcophagus in the room above.”
This was the real owner of the tomb!
Proofreader: Fictional Reality & Paranoid Kitten